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Diamond stone break-in

Recent Forums Main Forum Getting Started Diamond stone break-in

This topic contains 12 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by  CliffCurry 01/20/2015 at 7:22 am.

Viewing 13 posts - 1 through 13 (of 13 total)
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  • #20067

    Tim McKusker
    Participant
    • Topics: 2
    • Replies: 6

    I am waiting to get my Pro Pack II kit and wondering about the break-in period for diamond plates. I have read here many times that it takes 5-10 knifes before they perform optimally. A question that comes to mind is, can the plates be rubbed together of the same grit to accelerate that time and scrub the high points of the diamonds? Is this acceptable or a bad thing to do? Will it help is the bottom line?

    #20068

    blacksheep25
    Participant
    • Topics: 2
    • Replies: 68

    pretty sure i read somewhere that diamond on diamond is NOT recommended. for the same reason that you don’t want to apply too much pressure with diamond based cutters; essentially let the diamonds (not the applied force) do the work. excessive force will knock the diamonds lose from the metal backing plate.

    there is a learning curve to the WEPS just like any new system or tool; hence it’s highly beneficial to practice on some cheap knives; side benefit is the stones get broken in, but so does the user. 😉

    #20069

    Mikedoh
    Moderator
    • Topics: 38
    • Replies: 560

    As blacksheep said, DO NOT rub the diamond stones together.

    #20070

    Tim McKusker
    Participant
    • Topics: 2
    • Replies: 6

    I can understand the answer, but working in the engineering field and maintenance, I like to also understand the reason. Anyone have any additional info why?

    #20071

    Geocyclist
    Participant
    • Topics: 25
    • Replies: 524

    You would rip the diamonds off, and they would still need breaking in or you would have almost no diamonds left, just steel plates. These stones (nor any stone) is 100.00000% perfectly flat. What happens when you break the stones in is the diamonds that are a little higher or bigger than the rest get worn down. First knife you notice very deep scratches. As they get broken in all the diamonds get to the same height and the scratches get smaller. Image a hair brush with a few bristles that are longer than the rest.

    My advice, find a knife or two to practice on. Do it. Do another one, the redo the first one again and check your progress. Just get as many strokes as possible on the first knives. After 5 you will notice a difference, after 10 you will be more improvement, after 20 still a little more. I don’t think there are an shortcuts. Just grind away on the first few practice knives. Get a lot of strokes in on your practice knives, you break the stones in and you also get practice on your technique.

    Never, never, never, rub diamonds plates together. (Some other stones like water stones you do this with).

    Welcome to the forum and enjoy.

    #20073

    tcmeyer
    Participant
    • Topics: 34
    • Replies: 1858

    To amplify on what Geo is saying, the diamonds are attached to the substrate as part of a nickel plating process. To ensure that the entire surface is covered with diamond grit, they pile it on heavily. During the break-in period, diamond grit that sits high and proud is knocked off, leaving a uniform pattern of grit which is tightly formed. When I look at my diamond blocks, or at the coarser versions of diamond film I have on hand with my microscope, what I see looks like a table full of billiard balls, all packed together tightly. These are the diamond grits, lined up in formation like little soldiers. The grit laying right on the substrate is held by the nickel plating on all sides except for the exposed side. This is a really solid connection and before you can dislodge one particular piece of grit, you have to break away its neighbor. This is the danger of rubbing one diamond block against another. Something’s got to give, and both pieces are diamonds. After the high-sitting diamonds are knocked loose in the break-in process, any further diamond losses are from the main platen and are permanent and unretrievable. A plate with its diamond grit scraped away is just a chunk of metal and worth about $85 dollars less..

    Diamonds are not forever here on our little internet planet. But they are for as long as you treat them well. Save your diamond plates for lapping natural stones or hand-sharpening.

    #22178

    Steve Levitt
    Participant
    • Topics: 0
    • Replies: 1

    I used a machete to start breaking in my diamond stones. The edge was chipped and a mess from some sloppy free hand work. Set the angles at 25 DPS and got to work. Had to move the machete horizontally because it is so long. The metal is fairly soft and the reprofile was fairly easy. Lots of metal and loose diamonds came off. In other words lots of dust. Went from 100 to 1000 to break in the stones. The stones were not completely broken in as I saw some big scratches in my second knife. But it was a good start and the machete fas a nice clean edge.

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD

    #22204

    Geocyclist
    Participant
    • Topics: 25
    • Replies: 524

    At least 10 knives to get a good break in. Still see better results after than up to 15-20 knives. The machete ought to count for 5-10 knives :woohoo:

    #22762

    Pat
    Participant
    • Topics: 15
    • Replies: 113

    During the knife selection process while breaking in the stones, I would choose your kitchen knives which usually vary greatly in lengths. It is good to practice on the paring knife, then graduate up to the chefs knife because the technique changes a bit.

    While you are breaking in the stones, it is also good to have a 20x lighted loop (Amazon has these for under $20) to inspect your edge and see what is going on. The better you know what is happening to the knife while you are honing your technique will show you the difference that different strokes will result in (edge trailing, edge leading, up and down, circular, etc…).

    The WE has so many variations that you can do for a knife that you should understand the utility for the knife, then conform technique to that utility. I would attempt to create a heel trailing slicing edge, tip trailing slicing edge, push cutting edge, etc….

    By the time you get all that down, you will have your stones broken in on kitchen knives that will be much more useful.

    #22769

    Luke
    Participant
    • Topics: 1
    • Replies: 6

    Not sure what the full break in is – I just received my PP1 this weekend. Like most people when they first get it I went crazy practicing and playing around with some practice knives with everything from “China Stainless” to Kuhn Rikon paring knives. I sharpened about 10-12 knives before I noticed a major difference in how the stones sounded. Went from a sharp crunchy sound to a smoother sand paper sound.

    After playing…..err practicing around with it for awhile I found myself going much higher and lower on the stones through the course of sharpening and can really tell where I didn’t hit the full stone on the earlier knives. So like some have suggested I would make sure you grab several different length knives from at least 3.5-6 inches. After going back through the stones on several knives starting to refine my process I finally got to the point where the stones sound mostly good all the way through. Grabbed my Spyderco Stretch VG-10 and gave it a run through – my first ‘good knife”. With the stone broken in the knife turned out MUCH sharper than the first ‘rough’ run throughs on the cheaper knives.

    So long story short I would say that 10-12 knives seems to be the break in period if you are hitting the full stone through the motions, however I took about 15-20 sharpenings before it felt right to me and the stones still seem to be maturing and rather it’s the stone breaking in or my technique getting better the knives seem to be getting sharper and sharper – wiping the blade clean after I got done with my Spyderco I came dang close to cutting myself!

    Hope that helps. 😉

    #22781

    Lance Waller
    Participant
    • Topics: 23
    • Replies: 138

    Here’s another question based on his. How long do these stones last? I bought a kit second hand and I was wondering how to know when the stones need replacement.

    #22782

    Luke
    Participant
    • Topics: 1
    • Replies: 6

    Clay Allison has a video with him saying he’s sharpened ~1200 knives on the same set of stones. I would imagine quite awhile.

    #22784

    CliffCurry
    Participant
    • Topics: 42
    • Replies: 461

    I bought my setup 2nd hand from a buddy and while all the paddles up to 1000 were broke in very well, the 100/200’s where performing less well then I felt they should so I purchased a new set and there is a huge difference in material removal. I now use the “dead” 200 as a go between step sometimes as Im progressing.

    This all seems logical to me, because a standard setup would have the 100/200’s as the re-profiling and material removal step with the following higher grits just there to refine and remove the larger scratches.

    Bottom line is I spent more money buying 2nd hand and then upgrading the ball joints, ceramics, extra course, 2nd pair of 100/200’s,etc etc….But true to my experimental nature, this gave me more to play around with and learn as I go. B)

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